Sunday, September 6, 2015

Oh, how the West Portal of Alpine Tunnel has changed!

I found this recently on Facebook (2015).  I had no idea just how much of the archway stones had been uncovered in recent years.  Wow!

Compare to the portal in the early 1990's:

Compare to the portal in 2004:

How it all started for me and the Alpine Tunnel

I grew up in a family that loved garage sale-ing.  One such sale that we frequented was held at my grade school and church, St. Mark Lutheran.  Little did I know that a little find laying on a folding table in that old gym would fuel a passion that has lasted for nearly 30 years.  

On that table was a stack of old railroad magazines ranging from Trains to Model Railroader, but the curious one was the February 1985 edition of the NMRA Bulletin.  In it I was completely absorbed in the story of a group of people who visited a long-abandoned railroad tunnel high in the Rockies.  Not only was this tunnel still there, but the tracks were still nailed to the ties!  The photo of the inside of that tunnel was like a dream world to this young 12 year old.  

From there I scoured the library for books about it and devoured Historic Alpine Tunnel and then DSP&P by Poor.  Of course, then came the clincher: my parents' decision to take a trip to Colorado where we saw the real thing-the mighty Alpine Tunnel!  

As they say, the rest is history. 

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing and reading that old article.  Here it is below: